Sunday 5 June 2011

195 The Web of Fear: Episode Four

EPISODE: The Web of Fear: Episode Four
TRANSMITTED: 24 February 1968
WRITER: Mervyn Haisman & Henry Lincoln
DIRECTOR: Douglas Camfield
SCRIPT EDITOR: Derrick Sherwin
PRODUCER: Peter Bryant
FORMAT: CD: Doctor Who: The Web of Fear
TELESNAPS: The Web of Fear: Episode Four

Knight's party are stopped from reaching Holborn by Fungus as is the Doctor's attempt to get to the Tardis. The Doctor takes a sample of the Fungus in Evans' tobacco tin. Returning to HQ they find the soldiers, including Weems, dead and Professor Travers missing. The Ops room map shows more stations have fallen to the fungus with just a few left. Lethbridge Stewart speculates on who the traitor is, thinking it may be the abducted Professor Travers while the Doctor feels the absent Chorley is a much more likely candidate. The Doctor tells them about the Tardis and the Colonel decides to mount a rescue mission. The Doctor and Anne work on a device to override the Intelligence's signals and control a Yeti. Evans finds one of the missing Yeti models which the Doctor deactivates. Arnold, Lane & Evans are to take a trolley to Covent Garden while he takes the majority of the soldiers overground to the station. Examining Evans' tobacco tin The Doctor finds it empty, casting suspicion on the Welsh driver. Arnold & Lane don respiratory gear and venture into the fungus with the trolley. Hearing screams Evans drags the trolley back finding Lane's dead body on it. Lethbridge Stewart's party are ambushed by Yeti. Captain Knight accompanies the Doctor to the surface to fetch electronic spares. While they are raiding a shop a Yeti enters, killing Knight before leaving. Searching Knight's body the Doctor finds one of the other two missing Yeti statues. He returns to Goodge Street just before Lethbridge-Stewart, the sole survivor of the surface expedition to Covent Garden. Searching the Colonel's pockets they find the final Yeti statue as two Yeti enter with an Intelligence possessed Professor Travers.

It's a bit of a bloodbath this episode with virtually the entire supporting cast wiped out. Suspects for the traitor are few and you can make an excellent case for it being the missing Chorley. The fight scenes sound good, look great from the telesnaps (this is the first time I've seen them) and there's even a few moments of the battle preserved thanks to the Australian censors which gives us our first surviving glimpse of Lethbridge Stewart.

There's some excellent location work in this episode involving the battle scenes in Covent Garden. More of the story would have been filmed on location, but famously Douglas Camfield was denied permission to film on the Underground. However we'd already seen filming involving London Underground locations in a previous Doctor Who story. In the first episode Dalek Invasion of Earth the river bridge, under which a roboman throws himself to death on location which is then recreated in studio, was Kew Railway Bridge which carries the District Line over the Thames between Kew and Gunnersbury. Later that same episode there's location filming of Barbara & Susan crossing a deserted London including some filmed at the abandoned Wood Lane Central Line station. In Web of Fear the Army's fortress is the Deep Level Shelter at Goodge Street. Another Deep Level Shelter, at Camden Town, provides a location in The Sunmakers. Incredibly the country railway station seen in Black Orchid was at one time a London Underground station! Quainton Road Station was once served by Metropolitan line trains. The Met terminates now at Amersham, but once upon a time continued north, through Aylesbury to Quainton after which it branched to either Verney Junction or Brill, which is in Oxfordshire!

If you'd like to see The London Underground's homage to Doctor Who then visit the Jubilee line station at London Waterloo. The panels used on the wall there are suspiciously Tardis like as you can see in these photos.

No comments:

Post a Comment